What Everyone is Saying About Constraints


Constraints are a good thing. Having constraints forces you to be creative, dig deeper to find a solution and to execute. To must do something can be a more powerful motivator than wanting to do something.

Constraints help you focus and keep your willpower high. Limiting choices or eliminating options all together helps conserve your willpower. We all the know the Steve jobs story about eliminating the need to make decisions about what clothes he wore. This is something you can put in place immediately. Try limiting your clothing selection this week to 3 shirts and pants.

There have been studies done that show people are much happier when their options are reduced. The fewer options they have, the happier they are. This relates back to second guessing or rethinking decisions. If you only had 2 choices you will probably have a lot less second guessing in your life. I think you look to make better selections, and are more committed to your selection when you only have a limited options or even time.

I put the constraint on myself to spend a full hour on photography and I couldn't go beyond my backyard. I took 189 images in that hour and created a beautiful detail image on a water spigot handle that I think looks wonderful.

If you don't have a lot of disposable income than you are really focused on spending your money the right way. I think having less fun money causes you to make better decisions because the risk of a bad decision is greater and it isn't easy to overcome by making another purchase. Interesting thought. Can people with less money be happier? Are they happier if they focus on spending money on experiences that provide a lifetime of memories vs. things that can provide limited benefits and joy?

Constrain yourself on the golf course to only using your 7 iron and see how good you get with the club. By the end of the 18 holes I guarantee you will know exactly how far you can hit the club, how you can bend the shot. I think you will have mastered the club.

Same way with camera gear. Take out your camera with one lens and really work it. You'll understand how the focus works, how the lens works at different apertures, it will become second nature to you. You will be able to look beyond the lens and the camera and focus on your vision what you really see. The camera will truly become a tool to capture your vision not the focus.

If you sit down at night and find yourself paralyzed with options and not doing anything, give yourself only two options of things to do and see how that improves you getting things done. Less is more.

What other kinds of constraints can you think of that truly improve your life? For a week set up real situations where you have constraints.

Be it what you order for lunch, what you do when you are home from work. I truly believe that giving yourself or having constraints will improve your trajectory towards what you want. Constraints are a good thing.